New York Times beclowns itself arguing colleges should not be allowed to ask applicants about their criminal records

In the wake of publishing an article attacking Donald Trump that was widely regarded as unfair and damaging to its reputation, you might think the editors of the New York Times had learned a lesson or two.  The title of that article was “Crossing the Line: How Donald Trump Behaved with Women in Private.”  The expression “crossing the line” indicates the disapproval of the editors, a judgment quickly refuted by the principal subject of what the Times regarded as demeaning behavior that was, in fact, welcomed by the purported victim.

Yet in an editorial today arguing that colleges should not be able to know if applicants have criminal records, the Times editors employed the same metaphor: “College Applications That Cross a Line.”

The Obama administration is rightly urging colleges and universities to re-evaluate how they use criminal-record information in admissions decisions. By asking about criminal convictions on their applications, the schools discourage applicants who are capable of performing academically at college and who present no danger to campus safety. The remedy is to stop asking about these records or at least delay the question until the applicant has received a provisional offer of acceptance.

This position requires the Times to argue against common sense:

Research suggests that colleges that admit students with criminal histories are no less safe than others.

This seems to say that recidivism doesn’t exist, but of course that isn’t true.  It is merely a way of jumbling together data and makng a non-assertion (“suggests”) into a scientific-sounding conclusion.

The Times, along with most media, has accepted the phony assertion of a rape epidemic on campus, yet now it is arguing that admitting actual rapists, among other criminals, is no big deal.

Not unreasonably, many people are alarmed at the efforts underway to make screening for criminal records illegal or at least discouraged by the federal government when it comes to jobs, college admissions, and other decisions about who can participate in activities that could endanger others.

Reforms have included recommendations to make it easier for ex-offenders to obtain state ID cards, removing questions about criminal history from federal job applications and suggestions to do the same for college applications, and warning landlords that rejecting renters based on their criminal history may violate federal law.

The federal focus primarily has been on making it easier for inmates to readjust to life outside of prison — with the concern being that ex-convicts are more likely to commit crimes if they can’t get jobs or secure housing. (snip)

According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, nearly half of 25,000 inmates released from federal prisons in 2005 were rearrested for a new crime or violation of parole within eight years, and one-quarter were reincarcerated during that time.

Opponents to reform measures, including an overhaul of mandatory minimum sentencing laws that is currently being considered by Congress, worry that by opening the door to ex-offenders, lawmakers will open a floodgate to crime.

The Times is completely on board with these efforts to ensure that the commission of crimes has fewer consequences for the criminal, employing the language of civil rights:

The Obama administration has taken several steps to combat discrimination against the more than 70 million Americans with criminal records.


Why, we wouldn’t want to discriminate against criminals.  But when it comes to Donald Trump crossing some imaginary line that the Times draws with regard to behavior toward women, even when the women in question don’t, that wouldn’t be discrimination, apparently.

Hat tip: Ed Lasky, Lauri Regan

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